To succeed, you have to continuously promote your business. But, for many owners, talking in-depth about their business without an invitation is extremely tough. They have a block that holds them back and causes them to miss opportunities. If you find it hard to initiate a conversation about your business, but simple and easy when someone ask you, then you may be struggling unnecessarily. Self-promotion doesn’t have to be uncomfortable … and here’s why.
As kids, we learned that “tooting our own horn” wasn’t socially acceptable. Bragging lead to being labeled or even disliked. The need to “fit in” is powerful. Many adult owners are impacted by this lesson from their childhood even today. It causes them to recoil from potential sales opportunities, out of fear of being labeled as braggadocios or worse, salesy. Their need to “fit in” drives them and holds them back from opportunities.
Here are a couple of tell-tale signs that this is happening. Avoiding having a full-blown sales conversation until your prospect practically forces you. When asked the question, “So what do you do”, you answer with a brief, almost dismissive response and then change the subject with a comment or question about something totally different. Or, the opposite happens. You comfortably share what you do and everything that you know about it, but you NEVER ask them if they’re interested in your offering.
When you wait, hoping that they will show interest on their own, you’re putting your success in someone else’s hands, and that’s a mistake! Here’s a simple change that can help you comfortably promote your business. Stop worrying about selling or coming off as salesy, just keep in mind the reason you got into business in the first place. Often, it’s a passion or being highly skilled at something that you enjoy that caused you to take the leap. Regardless of the reason, there is a reservoir of power and energy that continues to motivate you to stay in business and pursue your goal of success. Reorient yourself toward that power. If you will focus on it, instead of worrying about making a sale or coming across too strong, you will find that your natural excitement and energy takes over and you come off naturally and authentically, which will draw people to you. Refocusing on the reason you’re in business will tap down the pressure you feel to sell and help to remind you that you’re in business ultimately to help people.
Focusing on helping people, not selling them, will alleviate much of the fear of being pushy or braggadocios, allowing you to have a regular conversation and share what you do and how it helps people. This small adjust makes a big difference in how you feel about starting a conversation and talking unabashedly about your business. Try it. You be amazed at how the tension gives way to feeling calm and relaxed when you talk about what you love and what it does to help people, instead of worrying about sounding boastful and salesy.
Self-promotion doesn’t have to be a four letter word, nor does it have to be stressful. To overcome the hesitation and fear of being seen as pushy, salesy or “braggy” refocus on what running your business does to satisfy you and the conversations will flow and sales will follow.